VANCOUVER Mayor Kennedy Stewart on Tuesday welcomed $51.5 million in much needed affordable housing investments from Ottawa with news the federal government has partnered with the City through CMHC’s Rapid Housing Initiative.
“In the fight against the dual health emergencies of COVID-19 and the overdose crisis, Vancouver is on the front lines. I want to thank Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Federal Housing Minister Ahmed Hussen for helping us secure homes for our most vulnerable neighbours,” said Stewart.
The $1 billion Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) was designed during discussions between the federal government and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Big City Mayor’s Caucus in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Delivered through the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the RHI is designed to fund housing for vulnerable populations and comes on the heels of Vancouver City Council approving Stewart’s $30 million emergency COVID-19 housing action plan to support unsheltered residents in all areas of the city.
“This $51.5 million committment, combined with our own local investments, will allow us to rapidly stabilize the lives of hundreds of our neighbours and the communities they call home.” said Stewart. “The next step will be to convince the Province of British Columbia to provide the wrap-around services we need to alleviate homelessness in Strathcona, the Downtown Eastside, and the West End.
“As I’ve said time and again, there is no silver bullet. We’re at the beginning of a long road that Vancouver cannot walk alone, but today’s announcement shows that Ottawa has our back.”